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Suspect takes off in car with two kids inside
Abandons theft after discovery
Steve morris
Steve Morris - photo by Courtesy of Ceres Police

A 35-year-old Ceres man on probation stole a car Sept. 28 with two small children inside but was apprehended a short distance away.

The harrowing drama unfolded in the 3400 block of Blaker Road at 5:48 p.m. after the 42-year-old victim had loaded up two infants in his 2004 Dodge Durango in the driveway. The car was running and the kids were watching a video that was playing in the car. According to Ceres Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jose Berber, the victim was near the driveway when he saw his vehicle being driven off. He began chasing after it as it headed eastbound on Hackett Road, traveling about two houses before the Durango came to sudden stop and was put into reverse before stopping again. It's believed that suspect Steve Morris, 35, of Ceres, had a change of heart after seeing the infants and not wanting to be involved with a kidnapping. He jumped out of Durango and told the victim, "Sorry man," before bolting on foot eastbound on Hackett Road and then over backyard fences.

Meanwhile, numerous 9-1-1 calls began pouring into Ceres Police dispatchers about the abandoned theft.

When officers arrived they located the victim who had caught up with Morris and after a brief struggle pinned him to the ground in a front yard of a home in the 100 block of Whitecloud Court two block away. The victim yelled to police, "He stole my car with my kids in it!" Officers placed Morris into handcuffs. The children were not injured and were returned to their parents along with the stolen vehicle.

Morris was booked for vehicle theft, endangering a child and violating his probation.